Associate professor Department of Biology
Dr. LIU has focused on teleost biology research that includes developmental and molecular genetics (zebrafish and medaka), molecular endocrinology (salmons) studies, and transgenesis (cyprinid fish) and genome editing (zebrafish) techniques. Starting from my postdoctoral training, we have used zebrafish to study how mechanosensory hair cells develop and regenerate upon damage; and to model human diseases for drug screening purpose. We have also used C. elegans to develop and test new ways to study functions of non-coding RNAs and a relationship between germ cells and somatic sex development.
1. Development of zebrafish inner ear: by means of genetics and conditionally regulated gene expression, the developmental pathway from PPR to inner ear cell fate has been preliminarily revealed, and the regulatory network of fate determination and maintenance of inner ear functional cells (inner ear neurons and motor receptor hair cells) has been interpreted
2. Damage / regeneration of hair cells in the lateral line of zebrafish: the lateral line nerve mound located on the body surface of zebrafish is the "inner ear on the body surface", which is a good model for the study of hair cell damage / regeneration. Through mutant selection, in vivo cell sorting and gene expression regulation technology, the relationship between signal pathway, transcription factors and death process and hair cell regeneration has been preliminarily determined.
3. Zebrafish model of human disease: deafness, imbalance, autism / dementia, hyperactivity and Parkinson's disease models have been established, and the screening of therapeutic lead compounds has begun.
4. New technologies and new directions: technologies have been developed to identify functional non protein coding RNA, CRISPR / cas9 gene editing, dcas9 fusion system, subcellular localization, etc.; research on the relationship between germ cells and sex development of somatic cells.
《Model biology and developmental biology》
《Principles of animal morphogenesis》